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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Monday, February 09, 2015

UConn players make the grade

Not only does the UConn women's basketball team play at a high level on the court, they are just as productive in the classroom.

Ten of the 12 members of the two-time defending national champions were honored at halftime for attaining at least a 3.0 grade point average either during the most recent spring or fall semesters. Leading the way was Kiah Stokes, one of 19 UConn student-athletes honored for having a 4.0 in at least one of the two semesters.

Joining Stokes on the list of women's basketball players being honored are Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, Moriah Jefferson, Breanna Stewart, Morgan Tuck, Briana Pulido, Tierney Lawlor, Courtney Ekmark, Kia Nurse and Gabby Williams.

Stewart, recently named an Academic All-District selection making her eligible for Academic All-American honors, said she and her teammates take the student portion of student-athlete very seriously.

"It is really important because you are not here just to play basketball, you have to do school as well and you might as well be as successful at is as you can," Stewart said.

Auriemma has always valued the importance of having his players also be top students.

"When we started in 1985 that is the way we drew it up," Auriemma said. "We were going to go after kids who really want to work hard in school, who are good students, who are driven to be good students who are also pretty bright basketball players and we are going to coach the hell out of them. That hasn't changed one iota because I think the two are related, I think the kids who work hard in school and kids who have a tremendous desire to be good students have the opportunity to become really good basketball players. It doesn't mean they are going to be but I would rather take my chances with a kid like that who is going to struggle in school every year, constantly be under the gun, constantly be worried about their grades. We get pretty good students, they work their brains out when they are here. They are committed and that is why every year when we have this ceremony, so many of our kids are honored."

Speaking of the ceremony, eight of the 20 student-athletes being honored at 4.0 stidents hail from Connecticut led by the brother/sister duo of Emi Kanyo (women's track) and Istvan Kanyo) of North Haven. Joining them are women's lacrosse honoree Emily Anderson is from Killingworth, Emily Howard from the women's track and field team is a Tolland native, men's basketball player Pat Lenehan is from Cheshire, women's soccer scholar-athlete Riley Houle hails from Columbia, Kathleen Snajder from the women's rowing team is from Monroe,  while football 3.0 honoree Sean Marinan Jr. (like Lenehan a former Xavier High star) is from Higganum.

Here's the list of 4.0 honorees
Women's Lacrosse: Emily Anderson
Women's Swimming & Diving: Emily Boyko, Alexandra Butera and Kennedy Meier
Women's Volleyball: Amy Christensen, Brianna Datti
Women's Soccer:  Riley Houle
Women's Track: Emily Howard and Emese Kanyo
Men's Soccer: Istvan Kanyo
Men's Basketball: Patrick Lenehan
Women's Basketball: Kiah Stokes
Baseball: Ryan Radue
Women's Lacrosse: Karaline Smith
Women's Rowing: Kathleen Snajder
Football: Sean Marinan, Will Rishell and Justin Wain
Women's Ice Hockey: Alexandra Lersch and Emily Walsh


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